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Five Years Ago The Earth Opened Up: National Corvette Museum Honors 5th Anniversary of Sinkhole

Tuesday marks the fifth anniversary of the sinkhole that swallowed a portion of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, along with eight vintage cars.

Fortunately, the earth opened up early in the morning before the museum opened, and no one was injured.

Museum officials have capitalized on the geological anomaly, and have seen a growing number of visitors to the attraction each year.

On February 12, 2014, at 5:30am, officials with the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green received a call from their security company, and arrived on scene to find a 65 foot-by-45 foot hole in the floor of the museum Skydome. 

A cave that they didn’t know existed caused the floor to collapse, swallowing eight collector Corvettes.  Experts were brought in to secure the foundation and structure, and according to Communications and Marketing Manager Katie Ellison, the National Corvette Museum is now one of the safest places to be in our karst region of Kentucky.

“So we had a team of experts that came in and accessed the situation and determined the best course of action to stabilize the cave that’s under the museum and fill in part of it. We actually have a manhole leading into one side of the cave so we do still have access to part of it, it’s now one of the safest places in Bowling Green cause we know what’s under our feet," Ellison said. 

When museum officials saw visitor numbers steadily increase after the sinkhole collapse, they seized on the attention they were receiving. Three of the damaged Corvettes have been restored, and are displayed alongside the other five, which will be left in the same condition they were in when they were removed from the sinkhole.

Alongside the vehicles is a glass top cover over a portion of the sinkhole for people to peer down the nearly 35 foot crevice. Ellison said the museum is adding  something special to mark the five year anniversary of the sinkhole.

“The manhole has a glass top on it and you can actually peer down and see the bottom of a part of the cave and to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the sinkhole we wanted some new thing to offer to people to continue that story so we actually had some people take special equipment in there and do a 360 degree tourso now people can to on line or use (virtual reality) goggles and experience the cave for themselves.”

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